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Thread: About to buy Laser Setup but new to the industry, hoping for advice before purchase

  1. #1
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    Default About to buy Laser Setup but new to the industry, hoping for advice before purchase

    Greetings,

    First may I say, what a great Forum! It's enjoyable as a new comer to the Laser world to see so much passion, it makes me excited about the road ahead.

    My Partner and I have a small sound and light business whereas we hire out turn key production for many local bands here in Australia, Im the lighting dude. We have decided to step up a notch and include lasers in the show. I have spent some time reading / researching / learning a small percentage of the craft and are about to purchase 3 Lasers, cables and software / DAC. What we would like to achieve is 2 x 1 watt lasers for Beam use only to the sides then centre stage 1 x 2 Watt Laser with 30 K Scan for animation. This animation laser will be for text and small animation (Band name song title etc) and will be targeted at a scrim for the audience to read the projected image. I have attached a photo and a quick mock up drawing of what we would like to achieve. The trick here is there is only a short throw distance (2.5 m) so we need a very wide optical angle.

    I have been given 2 quotes;

    Goldenstar Laser, 1 x N-RGB2000 ( R500mw/637 G:500mw/520 B:1W/445nm laserwave ) , with DT40pro and 2 x D-RGB2000(R:500MW/638 G:500mw/532nm B:1W/445nm) with DT30

    CR TEC Surpass MK 3 2 Watt animation Laser, 2 x 1 watt Power N

    Both with software (Pangolin Quick Show) , ILDA cables and scrim.

    Can I get your recommendations please? We are about to purchase and really want to do this right.

    Cheers, Grant
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Stage.jpg  

    Plan.jpg  


  2. #2
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    http://www.eightonlight.cn/ Ask for the Xmas deals VenusII is what you seek. Short throw = keep things above the head or order safety lens for the front of the projector if your doing any audience scanning. Research the laws in your country about what is legal. scrim you can find local as bug netting.

  3. #3
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    Thanks for that Picasso, here we have an occupational health and safety guide line for the entertainment industry but no hard Law. I forgot to mention that I have in the quotes a safety shutter, just for my own piece of mind, shuts of if the laser becomes stagnant. The scrim is mounted from the Front of House Speakers (On top) so bottom of scrim is at 2M. I have messaged eightonlight, thanks very much.
    Last edited by guitar123james; 10-17-2014 at 19:44.

  4. #4
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    There are a few other Aus members on here who may be able to advise you of the legal position in Aus and specifically your state. I'd be very surprised if there's no restriction on audience scanning.

    Even if that were the case, the fact is if you scan and damage people's eyes, then you will find yourself on the end of multiple law suits. H&S guidance will stand up in Civil Court if you damage people's eyes even if there's no Criminal Law to prosecute you under.

    Don't want to come down heavy or anything. But just be aware lasers aren't like other lighting. They're not "just light", and can cause retinal burns even at very low power densities (hence the reason why the safe limit is set internationally at 10mw cm2).

    Do your research, do it right (which can be expensive in equipment terms) - if you can't afford to do it right, then keep those beams overhead.

  5. #5
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    I'll second Picasso's suggestion of Lightspace. Not saying anything is wrong with Goldenstar or CR Tec but, in the grand scheme of things, you'll get a nicer laser from Lighstpace for pretty close to the same money.

  6. #6
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    For the txt and small animation laser you can get a system with a built in show card that plays ilda files that you can trigger via dmx. Pre load it with your sets and tigger with a cheap dmx controller. This way you dont have to dish out for two pangolin controllers. You will still need one for your beam lasers. You can also reverse that and do the beams via pre program and played via dmx and pangolin quickshow doing txt.

    The one thing you cant do is use quickshow to make ilda files. Pangolin does not allow that with quickshow.

  7. #7
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    Hi White Light,

    Thanks for the heads up, appreciated. The Scrim is going above peoples heads, the bottom of the scrim is 2Meters above floor level so they are not scanning the audience. I have the fail scan lock out in my quotes just as a safety measure.

    Thanks again!

  8. #8
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    Hi Picasso,

    Thanks again for your advice. I thought Quick show could save as an ILDA file, my plan was to do exactly as you said and run the laser's via DMX. Quick show was just to create the file at home then upload to SD card on the Laser and dmx to trigger at the event. Im lost now, I really didn't know that Quick show wouldn't do this. Any advice?

  9. #9
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    Which Pangolin FB3's are you considering buying?
    The "standalone" FB3-QS that normally comes in the QuickShow package does not have a memory card slot.

    The FB3-SE did, but those were really OEM controllers that were designed to be permanently installed in the projector.
    There was (maybe still is) a "LiveQuick" program for the SE from Pangolin that was designed to let you do just what you want -
    Load a bunch of cues to the card, then trigger via DMX. It works, but it's pretty limited, compared to actually controlling directly via QuickShow.

    Pretty sure the SE version is a special order item now; ordering a new copy of QuickShow is going to get you the FB3-QS.

    FWIW, from what I've seen, the built-in DMX-triggered cues available on some imported projectors are VERY limited, and often with unpredictable image size and orientation. Personally, I definitely would NOT recommend depending on built-in cues, especially when an audience is involved!!

    Probably the majority of folks on this forum would suggest you don't go "cheap" on the controllers, given that you are dealing with potentially harmful lasers powers with an audience involved! You want to make sure you have ABSOLUTE control of your lasers at all times, and you won't necessarily get that with some of the cheap laser controllers that are available. Go with a well-established manufacturer that can provide sales & technical support ~ Pangolin isn't necessarily the only game in town, but they ARE well-established and well-respected, and provide very reliable software and hardware.

    Not to mention there are TONS of free shows for the Pangolin software available on the Pangolin Shows portal, plus the QuickShow / FB3-QS package has an upgrade path to Pangolin's professional level BEYOND software, should you decide you want to move up at a later date.

    For your setup, you really need to be using at least two active controllers -
    One for the graphics, and one for the beams (provided you have a projector with ILDA "thru" connections, or an active ILDA splitter box, you could run both beam projectors off the same ILDA feed from one of your controllers).

    One laptop running QuickShow can control multiple FB3's simultaneously; you'll just need to spend some time setting up the projection zones so you can specify which cues go to which controller. Most of the controls in QuickShow can be activated remotely by MIDI or DMX, so as long as you have an Enttec DMX USB Pro (the DMX interface officially supported by Pangolin) feeding DMX into the same computer, your QuickShow laser cues could still be triggered by DMX, while also simultaneously maintaining full control of your lasers from the laptop.

    Good luck with your gear purchase and setup - keep us posted!!

    Randy
    Last edited by Stuka; 10-20-2014 at 03:47.
    RR

    Metrologic HeNe 3.3mw Modulated laser, 2 Radio Shack motors, and a broken mirror.
    1979.
    Sweet.....

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